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Buying coins at a street market in Chile


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hablo un pocito espanol.

 

I'm in chile for work. every sunday there's a market downtown.

 

I met a fellow named Alesandro Powell. We chatted as best we could. he speaks no english, i speak a little spanish. He had for sale a great deal of pre-1950 chilean coins. I purchased a few for a few dollars. He also had some fakes, but advertised them as such.

 

His pocket piece is a 1980s Silver Eagle. nice guy.

 

If anyone is ever in Santiago on a sunday, hit the market. several coin dealers there. Mostly circ stuff, but not too expensive.

 

Hasta leugo, muchachos!

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Interesting, Fjord. Last week, a customer buying silver jewelry asked me for silver coins. He's from Costa Rica. He said that it's pretty hard to find material for his collection there. What he likes is Mexican and US silver, with a side interest in Peruvian silvers. I sold him a very nice 1943 5 Peso and several US silver halves.

 

I've never been to South America, but I'd like to see Chile some day.

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I'd be carefull if I were you. Isn't that one of the places that say cheat the gringo? Not sure how to spell that but if anything like Mexico, your just meat to them.

 

I've worked in Latin America several times, and I can assure you that Chile is nothing like what you describe. I also suspect that you have been going to some pretty lousy places.

 

He might have charged me 'too much' for the coins. I get as much (or more) of that here. The silver coins I purchased were $5-6 apiece, and appeared genuine as this is not the first time i've seen chilean coins. Also, I was rubbing elbows with Chileans who were purchasing from the same case as I was. So either the dealer cheated all of us, or none of us.

 

How do you know about "the places that say cheat the gringo", incidentally?

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Interesting, Fjord. Last week, a customer buying silver jewelry asked me for silver coins. He's from Costa Rica. He said that it's pretty hard to find material for his collection there. What he likes is Mexican and US silver, with a side interest in Peruvian silvers. I sold him a very nice 1943 5 Peso and several US silver halves.

 

I've never been to South America, but I'd like to see Chile some day.

It's a wonderful country. It has a climate similar to California (at least in Santiago and Valparaiso, Patagonia is more like Alaska) and the people appear well-off. The cities are clean, crime is low (except pickpockets in some markets), and excepting raw seafood, all of the food and water are safe for foreigners to eat without consequence. The people are helpful to a fault - a famous song in Chile has the line:

 

Y veras como quieren en Chile al amigo cuando es extranjero

Which means "in Chile they will love a foreigner as a friend" when very roughly translated.

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